Pressure Tanks and Your Well System: What You Need to Know

Having a modern well, whether for residential or commercial use is a convenient resource. It produces excellent-quality water, with little servicing. 

The well system consists of different components such as a pressure tank, pressure switch, pump, and the well. The pressure tank has the primary purpose of storing water from the well, then distributing the water throughout your home or office through a plumbing system.

How Do Water Pressure Tanks work?

Water pressure is what causes the water to flow. The primary function of a pressure tank is a repository that contains two things: air and water. Water is pulled up from the well and enters the tank through the pump. Then, as the water level rises, so does the compressed pressure from the air, and when the maximum pressure is reached, the pump then stops. 

Usually, pressure tanks keep the pressure within 20psi of the start and stop parameters. Let’s say, the standard pressure of your tank is 60psi. When you turn the faucet on and draw water, the pressure from the tank drops, and when the pressure hits 40psi, then the pump pulls more water from the well until the pressure is back to 60psi. 

Why Do You Need A Pressure Tank?

Having a pressure tank in your home has numerous benefits. The first benefit of having a pressure tank is constant access to water, whereas otherwise, you would need to turn your pump manually to draw water. Likewise, a pressure tank aids in preventing the pump from getting overworn over time, preserving the life of your water pump. Since the pressure tank acts as water storage when you need to draw water, the water is directly drawn from the pressure tank. 

The water will also only be pulled from the well when it hits the pressure set point. Consistent water pressure is one of the greatest benefits of having a water pressure tank. A pressure tank will help, especially when the water pump is not functioning 100%. 

What Are The Possible Problems Of A Well Pressure Tank?

As mentioned above, a pressure tank keeps water pressure consistent and it also keeps the water and air separated. Here are the most common problems encountered with a well pressure tank:

  1. The well pumps air – when you turn on your faucet and it dispenses both air and water. This kind of issue usually shows up after a few years of use, and may be a result of a leak in the pressure tank bladder, or that the integrity of the pump has been compromised. Either is only repairable by a professional.
  2. Starts to pump sand or other residues – when sand and other residues from the ground are visible when drawing water, it is a sign that the screen from the well may have been torn. This can cause damage to the pump valves and should be evaluated immediately by an expert. 
  3. Low water pressure – there are several reasons why this happens: a failing pump, leaking pressure tank, or a clogged up nipple pipe could lead to this being a problem.
  4. Increase in the electric bill – when the pump is no longer working well due to iron bacteria or other causes this will result in inefficiencies that may be first noticed on your electric bill.
  5. Changes in water quality – If you notice a change in water quality, there could be several causes. The best way to address this is to do water quality testing
  6. Malfunction of pressure switch – this can be caused by corroding of the well screen, liner, or casing. You may want to check your reverse osmosis water system or any other filters that are no longer functioning properly. 

If you have a submersible pump, it can be difficult to tell if your pump is functioning well or not. If you are experiencing any of the problems listed above, it is best to have it checked by water service professionals.  

Maintenance And Repair

Well systems are mostly maintenance-free. However, it is best to have it checked and maintained to keep your well system running smoothly. Here are some things you can check to:

  1. Check the Pressure
  2. Check the Pressure Switch

If you need assistance from a water systems expert, you may check Independent Water Systems, Inc

We are an official dealer of Ecowater Systems that services both commercial and residential water systems. We offer the following services: (which are most often assessed by our free water test)

We are based in Yakima, Washington and we are serving all of Yakima and Kittitas Counties including the communities of: Yakima, Sunnyside, Grandview, Granger, Mabton, Moxee, Selah, Toppenish, Union Gap, Wapato, Zillah, Ellensburg, and Cle Elum since 1986.